kiwi07 comments

Posted in: Honda goes small with first all-electric car See in context

Plenty enough for a car this size. Why the unambitious sales figures?

Because the price is 4.5 million yen. Compare that to a new Honda Fit at around 1.8 million yen (depending on 4W version, hybrid version, etc), and the choice for my pocket is easy. As James noted above, this article is short on details (such as what the car actually looks like on the outside, price in Japan, etc). But as I am in the market for a new car, and want a Honda, after reading this article I checked the reporting on other sites.

The 280 kilometre range is a best case situation, reports suggest around 140 km city driving.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Massive blast rips through Beirut, killing 78 and injuring thousands See in context

Ammonium nitrate needs an oxidizer added before it will explode.

Not an oxidizer, a fule. Ammonium nitrate is the oxidizer in explosives. The fuel added to it is oxidized by the ammonium nitrate. usually fuel oil (to make ANFO), or nitromethane. However, in an unmixed state, if stored for years, the ammonium nitrate can decompose and become explosive by itself - this has already happened several times in history with catastrophic results. As pointed out above, that happened in Texas at the West Fertilizer Company Explosion in 2013, and the Tianjin disaster in 2015.

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Posted in: Japan to allow 1st-time patients to receive medical services online See in context

What about follow ups?

I’m on monthly medical receptionist prescription renewals for a chronic condition. If you don’t need the exam, then maybe your clinic can do the same for you. I’m exempt from needing to see my specialist or get an exam, I just need to see the front desk medical receptionist at the neurology clinic to get a new prescription printed out. The prescription is for pain relieving opioids and other things that can only be given out in a maximum of one month supply. It’ll be interesting to see if they can switch that online too.

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Posted in: Man given 5-year term for shooting ex-agriculture minister over money trouble See in context

A revolver!??? I thought Japan has NON!?

That was the thing that surprised me the most when I saw the original story a couple of months back. He borrowed a revolver from a friend - so many questions! In a country where civilian ownership of handguns is limited to basically only Olympic level shooters, and even then they have to be stored at a police station, what kind of friend happens to have a revolver? And, as it was almost certainly an illegally owned revolver, why would you casually loan it to a friend? Then there's the whole issue of of the 10 million yen.

So many questions.

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Posted in: Gov't to establish drone licenses for flights out of operator's sight See in context

When I taught an after school robotics club ten years ago, we already had powered glider drones that went out as far as 7 kms. We set one up as a training experiment, and mostly flew it over the sea in case of a crash, etc. at that time, I needed a license in Japan, to build and demonstrate model rockets over a certain size for the club, which I had; it was only a one day training event and small exam. A similar situation isn’t unreasonable for drones.

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Posted in: Virus advances around the world as medical supplies dwindle See in context

Does Japan’s SDF operate hospital ships like the US ship pictured in this article? When paired with the current Izumo class helicopter carriers, hospital ships seem a great way to get emergency medical help to areas that need it, in a long thin, island nation that is prone to natural disasters.

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Posted in: Cluster suspected at Oita medical center after 2 more virus cases confirmed See in context

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen by 1,948 to 18,610, and the number of deaths has increased by nine to 55, the country’s public health institute has said 

Numbers for Germany now at 22,364 cases and 84 deaths. Although Germany’s numbers are impressive in terms of low fatality rate, their numbers are literally climbing by the hour, and they’ve have had over 50 deaths in the last three days.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Governors ask people to avoid Osaka-Hyogo trips during long weekend See in context


Postponement isn't possible post op.

I worry about the future ability of hospitals to cope with those who need regular appointments, such as yourself and all those with serious chronic conditions, if the number of cases ramp up significantly and hospitals start to get overwhelmed. I get regular Brain MRIs as post follow up for brain surgery and radiation treatment for a brain tumor. But those regular MRIs can be skipped for a while if needed.

It’s all the more critical post follow chronic conditions that will suffer, as well as the immunocompromised, who will suffer as a result of overloaded hospitals, as is happening now in some European countries.

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Posted in: Japan testing for coronavirus at fraction of capacity See in context

Antibiotics don’t treat viral infections-demand a test.

They gave you antiBIOTICS for a VIRUS? Why?

Yes, in Japan. Yes, I know antibiotics don’t treat viral infections. We had already tried the Covid healthline advice center, but they refused testing directly as I haven’t been overseas recently. They recommended a doctor’s clinic to visit instead. But, that doctor’s clinic had to rule out bacterial and allergy causes before the testing clinic would accept his referral without any issues. So, first, I have to do a combined five day antibiotic + allergy medicine course + codeine syrup for the cough. After that, if symptoms persist, he said the testing center would accept his referral without issue.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan testing for coronavirus at fraction of capacity See in context

I have had a persistent dry cough and fever for two and a half weeks, but still don’t meet criteria for testing. Yesterday, the doctor’s clinic confirmed I had bronchitis with a suspected viral cause. After that, the test center said after a five day course of antibiotics, if symptoms remain, then I’ll finally be allowed a test.

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Posted in: 3 company execs accused of exporting bio-agent producing device to S Korea See in context

Spray dryers are the most widely used industry device to manufacture powdered goods from liquids. For example, instant coffee, milk powder, starch, etc, etc. In NZ they are ubiquitous throughout the country as it’s the only way to turn milk into good quality milk powder which is our main export.

I had no idea they would be a restricted item to China, but I can understand them being a restricted item to North Korea, as almost anything is a restricted item to North Korea.

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Posted in: Nara deer leave park; head to station for food as tourist numbers tumble See in context

As the park’s deer population is deliberately kept in ecological overshoot by the senbei feeding, which in turn was designed that way as it largely feeds the Nara tourism industry, it should the city’s responsibility to keep an adequate supply of supplementary food in lean tourism times.

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Posted in: New Zealand says everyone entering country must self-isolate to contain coronavirus See in context

With only six confirmed cases, and being an isolated island country, these border restrictions will be a good case study to check how many undetected cases in the country come to light over the next few weeks.

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Posted in: Woman arrested for dumping newborn baby’s corpse in drugstore toilet See in context

I’m surprised there was even such a place open considering Japanese people are even stealing toilet paper now

The crime occurred in November; these things take time to work through the court system.

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Posted in: Woman arrested for dumping newborn baby’s corpse in drugstore toilet See in context

Why wasn't the boyfriend also arrested? Or, was he arrested later, and that bit left out of the article?

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Posted in: Gov't to ask companies to promote telework as virus spreads See in context

Why are you including the cruise ship numbers in the Japan interior numbers when the ship was quarantined which means separated.

I find this dashboard useful for up to date, non-ship, Japan infection details.

Currently 111; you can check by prefecture, age, etc. of curse, it only lists confirmed cases, and as there’s quite a procedure from being symptomatic through to being tested, the total circulating numbers can only be surmised based on confirmed cases. Especially, as 80% of cases appear to be mild, so wouldn’t meet the govt’s criteria for being tested, if you have no other risk factors (been in China, etc).

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Posted in: Gov't says 2 elderly people from cruise ship have died; another 2 officials infected with coronavirus See in context

Two of the infected passengers from the Diamond Princess have just died.

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Posted in: Passengers begin leaving after ship's virus quarantine ends See in context

Up to half the of the passengers are Japanese, and of those released after negative tests, they will go back to their homes. As they've been away from their homes for so long already, the very first place they'll be going after that is to the supermarket to renew their grocery supplies. Maybe a kombini or two for other things first, some may need to go back to work straight away, potentially crowded subway train rides involved for some of the above... Yup, this might become interesting.

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Posted in: These things are likely to boom in the Japanese market in 2020 See in context

Considering the laws around both electric kickboards, and full electric bikes (not the pedal assist only electric bikes), then neither will become popular until things are changed. As it is, not only do you need a license (which excludes app rental services like in Europe becoming available), but the bike or kickboard also needs a number late, the rider must have a helmet, and they must be operated on the road at all times. All these things make them less practical than either. 50 cc scooter (which has more power and greater range for the same license and riding requirements), or pedal electric bikes, which can be ridden on footpaths and rented with apps.

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Posted in: E-cigarettes raise lung disease risks, but less than smoking: study See in context

Its popularity will cause manufacturers to cut corners and use cheaper more dangerous chemicals.

Yes, that seems to be a leading cause of issues, especially with the THC based vape liquids. In addition, however, is that nicotine only has a vaporization temperature of 95 degrees Celsius (200 Fahrenheit), and so is easy to vape at a comfortable temperature. However, THC has a vaporization point of 150 Celsius (300 Fahrenheit ), and CBD has a vaporization point of 180 degrees Celsius (350+ Fahrenheit). Recent studies I’ve seen suggest the high THC and CBD vaporization temperatures push the nickel-chromium heating coils to a much higher operating temperature than they were designed for, leading to coil breakdown and particles of chromium and nickel scarring the lungs.

I consume CBD in both the isolate crystal and full spectrum forms for a medical condition, and tried vaping it, but the high vaporization temperature makes even the milder vape form rough on the throat. It’s unfortunate, as vaping takes about a minute to get it into my bloodstream and has relatively OK adsorption, but ingesting it takes up to three hours for it to take effect.

for nicotine cravers, vaping at least doesn’t have the carbon monoxide problem that normal smoking does, and doesn’t have the tar problem, and as you point out, the lower temperatures of nicotine vaping and the non-smoke form does feel a lot milder. But like any new technology, it’s often only later in hindsight that other hidden issues start to arise. Nicotine, apart from being addictive, isn’t considered any more harmful than coffee drinking (as is noted by long term studies in people who took nicotine in gum form only), it’s the quick smoking delivery method where the problem is.

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Posted in: Does living in Japan change the way we speak English? See in context

Does living in Japan change the way we speak English?

No, I'm fine thank you, and you?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Former defense minister shot near home in Iwate See in context

Since it was a handgun that he used,

Thanks for adding that info, it changes the setup completely. It appeared at first that it was a disgruntled farmer with his licensed hunting/pest control shotgun. Then I read in a Japanese report that he had borrowed the gun from a friend, which seemed odd. Given the strict criteria for owning licensed guns in Japan, I couldn't imagine anyone simply loaning out their licensed shotgun to a friend. Although given the harsh penalties for owning an illegal handgun and ammunition, it's still amazing that any friend would loan one out.

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Posted in: Supreme Court upholds ruling commuting death sentence to life for man who fatally stabbed 2 people See in context

Perhaps it's a way so he doesn't get what he want anymore and has to live in agony, since he's stated he wants the death penalty.

That was my thought too. For some people, life in prison can be a worse fate than death. Since it was his desire to die, and this is not the first case of its kind in Japan where someone has killed with the hope they'll receive the death sentence, then denying him what he wants is a way to deter copycats. Of course, from a legal perspective, they can't frame it as simply as that, so use a legal arguments about premeditation as an excuse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 80-year-old man, driving wrong way on expressway, killed in head-on collision See in context

On a TV report I saw about it, they said it appeared as though the driver going the wrong way was hunched (slumped) over, which gave the impression there was a medical event behind this situation. His turn indicator light was blinking; the impression being that he had a sudden stroke or heaet attack while making a turn. Although, I still struggle to understand how a sudden heart attack or stroke could result in a slumped over driver going the wrong way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Nixon told Kissinger pact allowing nuclear weapons into Okinawa 'satisfactory' See in context

One of their one megaton bombs was lost, as well as a pilot and his A4 Skyhawk, about 68 miles off the coast of Kagoshima. Neither the pilot, plane, or bomb were ever recovered from the 16,000 ft deep waters. One of the confirmed and declassified broken arrow incidents. The incident was declassified in 1989.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Hyogo man arrested for creating biohazard zone with his 'own' pee See in context

So, the urine angle was just click-bait after all...

Depends on the concentration. Ammonium perchlorate is a common substance in urine, it all depends on the concentration. Likewise, arsenic is commonly adsorbed by most of us as it is naturally present in the environment. Arsenite levels in Japanese people are 3~10 times higher than those in the North American population as seaweed is relatively high in arsenic (

If it was urine from his mother that was years old, one wonders if it may have concentrated through some of it evaporating. I can only imagine what other chemical reactions may have occurred in years old urine as compounds break down (the urea breaking down to ammonium compounds for example).

I guess if his mother is now deceased, it’s possible he held onto it out of some weird attachment, or something.

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Posted in: Hyogo man arrested for creating biohazard zone with his 'own' pee See in context

Interesting plot twist.

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Posted in: New Zealand plans armed police patrols after Christchurch massacre See in context

As they pointed out in the article, handguns and rifles are already kept in the patrol cars, and police almost never patrol without their cars, so they've already had firearms available to them for years, they just weren't usually carried. So, no real big changes there. As for the gun law changes, semi-auto shotguns of the type used by the duck hunters, and semi-auto rimfire rifles are still allowed, as are all bolt action rifles. The international media have at times overstated the extent of the gun law changes, to make it sound like NZ outlawed most guns. It's really just centre fire semi-autos that have been removed.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic CEO reminds visitors that cannabis is banned in Japan See in context

I may have been premature saying you can buy without import though. I'd agree, it would require a fair bit of trust that the Customs folks know their stuff. If you don't like holdups at the airport I'd say let the postal system handle it.

As you mention, it would be a hassle to bring it in with you. I've imported it by mail order, but I emailed customs first to clear it and check procedures. They did require a third party certificate of analysis supplied by the manufacturer, which was fine, and they also took a very small sample to check for themselves. Other than that they were helpful and sped things through.

I wouldn't call CBD a miracle, but I use it along with the opioids prescribed by my Japanese doctor, and the combination helps for a chronic pain condition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan slowly buying into cashless future despite widespread misgivings See in context

I use prepay cashless forms of payment for most things (Nanaco, Line Cash, prepay credit cards, etc). But keep cash at home in case of an earthquake cutting power.

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